Hit the Trail
One of the easiest activities you can participate in at a state park or forest is to take a hike. Options are plentiful from loop trails to multi-county trails. Younger children obviously will be more suited to the shorter hikes, which are found mostly in state parks.
If you're looking for a comprehensive website where you can find all kinds of trails (both state-maintained and municipal), don't miss ExplorePAtrails.com. There you can search for a local trail and find out its condition, length and level of difficulty. This site is a great place to start and a must-visit for serious hikers in Pennsylvania.
Hiking in state parks
Hiking trails in state parks lead to beautiful vistas and waterfalls, or by wetlands bubbling with life, or through dark, old growth forests. Some trails are scenic or leisurely, while others are self guiding educational, or offer rigorous exercise.
For a comprehensive list of hiking trails in state parks, stroll over here.
State parks also provide parking areas and other amenities—acting as a trailhead—for quite a few state forest trails.
GO OUTSIDE: Go to this map to find hiking opportunities in a state park near you!
Hiking in state forests
State forests offer tremendous opportunities for the hiking ethusiast with a wide range of trails covering all types of terrain at a variety of difficulty levels. Hiking trails in state forests are divided into four categories: National Scenic, State Forest Hiking Trails, local district trails and interpretive tails.
You can find more information by stepping over here.
Other trail uses
Pennsylvania's trails aren't limited to just hiking. They also accommodate other uses as well:
- Biking and mountain biking – Biking in state parks is very popular. The bike trails found in state parks feature a variety of sizes, terrain and scenic views. An added bonus is that you can take advantage of the many resources, facilities and activities found within each park. Pedal over here for more information. There are 11 state forests that maintain 447 miles of designated trails for mountain bicycling along with another 3,353 miles that are open for their use. For more information on mountain biking in state forests, roll over here.
- Rollerblading – If you or your kids have a need for speed, this is a great activity available in parks. Skate over here for more information.
- Horseback riding – State forests have almost unlimited opportunities for horseback riding which has become a rapidly growing activity for the whole family. Twelve state forests maintain over 3,000 miles of shared-use trails that can be explored on horseback. In addition, 1.9 million acres is available for cross-country riding. Trot over here for more information. State parks also have riding trails available.
GO OUTSIDE: Go to this map to find mountain biking opportunities in a state park near you!
GO OUTSIDE: Go to this map to find horseback riding opportunities in a state park near you!
For wintertime, trail-based activities like snowmobiling or cross-country skiing, slide over to our Enjoy the Winter page.